New Delhi: In a major step towards
completing its nuclear triad, the atomic reactor on-board the indigenous nuclear submarine INS Arihant was activated late Friday night. The submarine will soon be launched to sea on the Eastern coast and paves the way for its operational deployment by the Navy soon. This will boost the Indian Defence capabilities.
Nuclear triad is the ability to fire nuclear-tipped missiles from land, air and sea. After the nuclear reactor is activated, the agencies concerned can work towards readying the warship for operational deployments soon.
INS Arihant has been undergoing trials at Navy's key submarine base in Vishakhapatnam and would be launched for sea trials soon since the nuclear reactor has gone critical. The DRDO has also readied a medium-range nuclear missile BO-5 for being deployed on the Arihant and its last developmental trial was held on January 27 off the coast of Vishakhapatnam.
The nuclear submarine will help India achieve the capability of going into high seas without the need to surface the vessel for long duration. Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to come up on surface at regular intervals for charging the cells of the vessel.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also congratulated the team calling it a giant step for India's defence. "I am delighted to learn that the nuclear propulsion reactor on board INS Arihant, India's first indigenous nuclear powered submarine, has now achieved criticality. I extend my congratulations to all those associated with this important milestone, particularly the Department of Atomic Energy, the Indian Navy and the Defence Research and Development Organization," he said.
He added, "Today's development represents a giant stride in the progress of our indigenous technological capabilities. It is a testimony to the ability of our scientists, technologists and defence personnel to work together for mastering complex technologies in the service of our nation's security."
So far, only the US, Russia, France, China, and the UK have the capability to launch a submarine-based ballistic missile.
(With additional inputs from PTI)